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Tea-swilling terrorists, apparently.
July 12, 2005 3:34 AM   Subscribe

Londonistan. Some say Britain overdoing tolerance. In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her head covered. Britain had been too squeamish about respecting Muslims' rights. It is to be hoped that Blair will rise to level of Nelson's exhortation that "England expects that every man will do his duty."

To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?
posted by bwerdmuller (141 comments total)

 
I'm not in London. But I think the sort of attitude espoused in these links is a dangerous one.

The six nearest religious buildings to my house (in order) are a Muslim school, a mosque, a mosque, a Muslim education centre, a mosque, a mosque and a christian church. I've got kids playing outside all the time, neighbours who say hello, great greengrocers who know who I am (although finding bacon involves a bit of a trek). It's not exactly paradise but it's not bad. All you see on the telly are Muslims (Imans and just bloke-on-the-street interviews) condemning the attacks, and claiming that the attackers are not real Muslims.

When the IRA were active on the mainland (and let's face it, they've done much more damage than the "al-quaeda" lot have), there were some arseholes who tarred all Irish people with the terrorist brush. But not many. So why the attacks on Muslims? A mosque got firebombed thursday night (and I'm sure it's not the only one - I saw it on the local news). The Muslim council of Britain received tens of thousands of abusive emails and calls.

My suspicion is this is due to our nasty and oh so British undercurrent of racism. These people not only believe in a slightly different god but they also look different. So they're an easier target.

So, "To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?" My hope is not at all in the slightest whatever. My fears are the opposite.
posted by handee at 3:54 AM on July 12, 2005


Stupid question: was there anything similar after the attacks on New York? I mean, either from the US press, or the British press. Mainstream press. Was there a chorus of 'America has been too nice to Muslims'? I don't recall it at all but does anyone?
posted by funambulist at 3:57 AM on July 12, 2005


FWIW, I'm quite glad British based muslims are signing up. It makes infiltration easier. It's why we haven't had conservative fringe groups like the Daily Mail editorial board lined up against a wall and shot too.
posted by vbfg at 3:57 AM on July 12, 2005


Sorry to follow up on such a long comment but I'm not sure my point is quite as clear as I thought it was...

The reason I love Britain is because of its diversity. And its freedom of speech. I think if we start clamping down on this then we're losing what should be our most precious thing.
posted by handee at 3:59 AM on July 12, 2005


So, "To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?" My hope is not at all in the slightest whatever. My fears are the opposite.

This is where I land too. In particular the headline "Some say Britain overdoing tolerance" is incredibly dangerous in my view; the idea is outright wrong. Intolerance and inequalities are what caused this mess to begin with.

On preview, handee is entirely right. Diversity, tolerance and freedom of thought have made Britain great.
posted by bwerdmuller at 4:01 AM on July 12, 2005


In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her head covered.

In no area of Britain is this a shock. Except mosques. This I assure you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:01 AM on July 12, 2005


Not in the slightest. London has a very proud record of tolerance and nothing is going to change that. On preview, what handee said.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:04 AM on July 12, 2005


There was a general election only a little over two months ago, and Labour won majority seating. Unless there is a conspiracy-level cover-up regarding the bombing, or something similar that would result in a vote of no confidence, what would compel Labour to acquiesce to the Tories on issues of security or civil liberties (let alone anything else)? Further, on matters of civil liberties, they want more CCD cameras everywhere, and on security, they want to get rid of ID cards, which was brought up for the purpose of tracking "suspicious" parties. Beyond adopting conflicting policies on contentious issues, what does the UK gain by caving into rhetoric from the right?
posted by Rothko at 4:05 AM on July 12, 2005


Here's the problem for the United States: Under our Visa Waiver Program, residents of Londonistan who hold a valid British passport can board a plane for the United States without an interview by an American consular official.

As a resident of the great city of London, I think I can speak for all 10 million Londoners and say that the views of the Cowardly Lion across the Atlantic are of no concern to us.

This is the world's most international city. There is more diversity of culture in each and every postal code of London than there is in all of NYC. We like it this way and we're not about to change it. London does not "overdo" tolerance, if anything there is room for even more tolerance.

Londoners are well aware their 2000 year old city has survived the Romans, the Vikings, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, Civil War, Hitler, the IRA, and John Major. Muslim terrorists are just another wave who will beat themselves senseless against her walls.
posted by three blind mice at 4:06 AM on July 12, 2005


handee writes "The six nearest religious buildings to my house (in order) are a Muslim school, a mosque, a mosque, a Muslim education centre, a mosque, a mosque and a christian church."

"... and a fanatical devotion to The Pope!"
"Look, let's just come in again..."
posted by benzo8 at 4:06 AM on July 12, 2005


To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?

God, not much of an extent, I hope. I would be fucking ashamed if we descended into paranoia and xenophobia, and surrendered our diversity. It's true that a few clerics should be.. well.. I don't know what they should be, but they *shouldn't* be so explicitly calling for violent action against Britain. But issues like that are providing faucets through which seas of bile are being vented at the dreaded Moor/Turk/Saracen/barbarian - and that, not some innate cunning brown evilness, is the reason that "one in five British Muslims feels little loyalty towards Britain." [Daily Telegraph (ugh) poll quoted in the last link]

Do these people really want to evoke the horrible bigotry surrounding the 'Bradistan riots'? It's they, if anyone, who are encouraging terrorism. Shame on them.
posted by Drexen at 4:24 AM on July 12, 2005


"Here's the problem for the United States: Under our Visa Waiver Program, residents of Londonistan who hold a valid British passport can board a plane for the United States without an interview by an American consular official."

Ah yes, when even our friends are our enemies, the world becomes a very lonely place indeed.
posted by OmieWise at 4:25 AM on July 12, 2005


"freedom of thought [has] made Britain great."
posted by IndigoJones at 4:29 AM on July 12, 2005


Soiling your secular country with head-covering, hallal-eating, dog-hating muslims is stupid. Just as it would be stupid to soil your secular country with bible-toting, evolution-denying, lib'rul-hating American christian fundamentalists.

Britons, would you be thrilled at the diversity if fundies from middle america moved to the UK, formed neighborhoods and starting voting?
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:29 AM on July 12, 2005


Britons, would you be thrilled at the diversity if fundies from middle america moved to the UK, formed neighborhoods and starting voting?

Well not being British, I cannot speak as Briton, but as a Londoner I say to you Mayor Curley, bring them on.

London will destroy their insular views, corrupt their morals, and turn them into real human beings as fast as you can say rapture.
posted by three blind mice at 4:35 AM on July 12, 2005


My initial response to the question bwerdmuller poses was that this is daft, & the answer is: to no extent whatsoever; why should Britian (in the person of Mr. Blair) so comply to such demands, when he has no reason or mandate to. Sadly, I think Mr. Blair is somewhat more likely to act based on demands from the American conservative right, seeing as how they are very much in power, and seeing as how he has been so co-operative with their demands in other spheres. While British toleration is far from perfect (& far from uniform), I still see it as one of the nation's finer qualities, & would hate to see it eroded.
posted by misteraitch at 4:37 AM on July 12, 2005


In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her head covered.

In no area of Britain is this a shock. Except mosques. This I assure you.

Quite. I live almost in the centre Bradford. I am, at least AFAIK, the only non-Muslim on my street of about 50 houses. Seeing a woman without a headscarf is not uncommon.

FWIW, when I moved I moved from what was a pretty much all white neighbourhood. This is the first house I've lived in where the neighbours have brought food round and I've received Christmas cards from neighbours I'd never previously heard of. These are easily amongst the nicest people I've ever met.
posted by vbfg at 4:43 AM on July 12, 2005


Nowhere is the unique history of the area depicted better

than the history of the Brick Lane mosque. This building on the corner of Fournier Street and Brick Lane has served religious needs of successive groups of immigrants. Built as a Huegenot Chapel in 1743, at the turn of the 18th century it was briefly used by the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity Amongst the Jews before becoming a Methodist Chapel. In 1898 it became a Synagogue. By the middle of the 20th century the Jewish community had mostly moved on and in 1976 the building was converted again, this time into a mosque to serve the Bangladeshi community


And mayor curley, soiling? Please...
posted by ciderwoman at 4:47 AM on July 12, 2005


In fact, just to ratchet up the rhetoric, I'd say this counts as a test for Britain. Can we really stand by our principles in the face of violence and uncertainty? Applying all possible disclaimers and in a placatory voice, I'd say this is a test America as a whole is currently failing. Will we pass? If so, maybe it will go a little way towards making up for all the shit we as a country have done in the past, and for our current level of official support for the US.

Mayor Curley : Britons, would you be thrilled at the diversity if fundies from middle america moved to the UK, formed neighborhoods and starting voting?

a) Not as much, because Christian fundamentalism brings nothing new to still-vestigially-Christian England.

b) However, I would vote and campaign against bad ideas they tried to force on other people - just as I would do if Muslims in Britain tried to force bad ideas on other people, which by and large, they don't. Do I wish organized, culturally mandated religion would go away? Yes. But that's not going to happen instantly, and letting myself become bigoted and bitter about it isn't going to help anything or anyone.
posted by Drexen at 4:49 AM on July 12, 2005


To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?

To no extent. Because it's not the conservative right's country. And because Britain is the true home of freedom.
posted by plep at 4:51 AM on July 12, 2005


Yay handee. I used to live on Springfield Mt. Which is probably close to where you live now.

If the U.S. wants to classify the UK as a dangerous terrorist state, then let it. Stop the Visas, and start interviewing us when we come to visit your country. Lock yourselves away in your big gated community and hope "the others" continue to consume your fatty foods and soft drinks.

The UK is a multicultural country. There are racial problems, and some of those problems have maybe been caused by an emphasis on voluntary segragation, but people are trying and the problems will lessen. Things are getting better, but change is difficult. If the American press think that they can somehow make our recent tragedy an American problem, they can FUCK OFF.

Mayor Curley: Of course people wouldn't be thrilled, but I'm not going to try and stop it happening. Plus I take offence at your implication that head-covering, hallal-eating (sic) and dog-hating are somehow equivalant to bible-toting, evolution-denying and lib'rul-hating. They are not.

on preview: vbfg as well. The Northern contingent is doing well. woot.
posted by seanyboy at 4:52 AM on July 12, 2005


Turn the question on its head :- Would it have been right for America to show less tolerance towards 'fundies from Middle America' after the Oklahoma City bombing?

Why should this be any different?
posted by plep at 4:58 AM on July 12, 2005


Tolerance is a great thing, don't get me wrong. But it's galling to see islamic fundamentalists preaching hate and murder and intolerance in the centre of our big cities. And then sponging off the tolerant welfare state. They can FUCK OFF. It really pisses off the law-abiding, tax-paying people of all races in this country.
posted by derbs at 5:01 AM on July 12, 2005


The generally calm response by the British public has been noted elsewhere.

Remember that for many of us, this was not our first 'terrorist attack'. For example, I was in Manchester on the day of the 1996 IRA bombing (so the London bombings were actually my second, direct personal experience of terrorism).

Discriminating against red-haired Irishmen would have been wrong then, just as intolerance would be wrong now.
posted by plep at 5:05 AM on July 12, 2005


In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her head covered.

I too want to add my ridicule to this statement.
A ha ha ha ah ah ha ha!

Sometimes, when I'm walking home at the right time (I go past the Mosque), I'll see the women walking up that way. It's true that most will be wearing headscarves, but they're just headscarves. We're not talking the full face covered / can only see the eyes thing. It's a headscarf. A piece of cloth placed loosely over the head. This statement is like saying...

In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her legs covered with Jean Trousers.
posted by seanyboy at 5:06 AM on July 12, 2005


derbs: Get rid of the word "islamic" in that little rant of yours, and I might agree.
posted by seanyboy at 5:09 AM on July 12, 2005


Plus I take offence at your implication that head-covering, hallal-eating (sic) and dog-hating are somehow equivalant to bible-toting, evolution-denying and lib'rul-hating. They are not.

Thanks for pointing out my spelling mistake with a coy "sic"-- obviously anything else I write is covered with a thin layer of drool because I made (gasp!) a typo!

No, they are not equivalent. One group looks like you and me but thinks differently, so it's fine to point out that they're culturally destructive. The other group is a different color, has exotic traditions and, most importantly, have been treated badly historically. Therefore, the only proper liberal response is to praise them no matter how similar the effects of their behavior.

Religious extremism is dangerous no matter who's practicing it. You'll be sorry when your beautiful rainbow gets outlawed and you're too busy singing "We Shall Overcome" to notice. Take it from someone who lives in an increasingly theocratic cesspool.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:13 AM on July 12, 2005


In some areas, it’s a shock to see a woman without her head covered.

I live in London, and can I just say this is colossal bullsh1t.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 5:16 AM on July 12, 2005


Thanks for pointing out my spelling mistake with a coy "sic".
You're welcome.
posted by seanyboy at 5:21 AM on July 12, 2005


Have to agree with the vast bulk of what is being said here. The best thing about this country is that people are not so ethnically riven as they are elsewhere. To be honest, I got the impression that the articles linked in the post were not measured responses to last week's bombings but preplanned assaults, all ready to say 'I told you so'.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 5:21 AM on July 12, 2005


Mayor Curley: There's nothing at all wrong with hating dogs, covering your head or eating halal meat. I regularly do all three and I'm an atheist. (And is it really the case that Muslims hate dogs?).

People who look different? fine. People with different cultures? fine.

People preaching religious hatred? not fine.

There are some religious extremists and that's a problem. The majority of Muslim people in this country do not fall into that category. Saying that scarf wearing or eating halal meat is somehow soiling our country is just racist.
posted by handee at 5:24 AM on July 12, 2005


Religious extremism is dangerous no matter who's practicing it.
Unfortunately for you and this disagreeable world view, not all Muslims are extremists. Listen to the people who live in Islamic areas, and then tell them that they're somehow whiny liberals who are blinded by the smell of patchouili. For the most part, they are not.
posted by seanyboy at 5:27 AM on July 12, 2005


Y'know, I don't really think those of us here in London really give a fuck what a few American papers and 'commentators' have to say about our city. London will carry on, much as it has done for the past few thousand years. Hysterical yanks can dribble about 'Londonistan' all they want - it means fuck all.
posted by influx at 5:31 AM on July 12, 2005


Glad to see so many londoners (and brits) saying what they are. 'Murica is wheezing on it's last legs and it's all because of the 'murican Taliban.
You do civilization a good turn by telling 'murican journalism to just get stuffed. Rue Brittania!!!
On another note, one of my closest friends is an Egyptian muslim doctor. Couldn't ask for a warmer, more family-oriented human being as a friend. The relationship between him and his wife and his children is closer than many american familes I've seen.
I wouldn't trade his friendship for that of a billion fundie dipsticks.
posted by mk1gti at 5:32 AM on July 12, 2005


And they could do better than add "-istan" to the name of a place to make it sound like it's been overrun by Islamic terrorists. This sort of shit was old in 1995.
posted by seanyboy at 5:41 AM on July 12, 2005


And for the record, I live in a predominately Muslim are in London, and have spent almost all of my time in similarly Muslim areas, and the stuff about headscarves is complete bollocks.
posted by influx at 5:47 AM on July 12, 2005


I don't think Blair has a thing to worry about from the Tories. The Tories are expert at making themselves look like absolute lunatic fringe. But then, I don't have a clue how British minds work with politics. Perhaps the real worry there is the increasing popularity of the Liberal Democrats.

As regards religious hatred: It becomes apparent, Many religious "leaders" are no different from politicians. They will preach any line of crap if it will increase their following.
posted by Goofyy at 5:57 AM on July 12, 2005


I have to agree in part with Mayor Curley on this one folks, religious extremism is religious extremism, fundamentalism is fundamentalism. While I am an strong advocate of tolerance and openness and I don't really see what the danger is in letting British passport holders in without a pre-approved visa (they are still examined at the port of entry just by a CBP officer rather than a State Department Official in a Consulate), I do not think any group should get a pass. No, not all muslims are fundamentalists or extremists nor are all middle easterners terrorists.

I'd like to point out that I consider myself pretty liberal. I'd also like to point out that my family left Iran when fundamentalist muslims began slashing the throats and machine gunning my parents christian friends. We moved to rural Tennessee and Alabama, so I can pretty much give you a first hand comparison of fundamentalists, theirs and ours and yes, Mayor Curley is right on that one.

Later, during the revolution, they began killing my parents muslim friends because they had protected Christians. One friend, during his trial for helping some friends of ours escape over the mountains into Turkey, sat mute and still, the guards around him relaxed and even unchained him because they believed he was so calm. As soon as they turned their backs he leaped onto the judge's bench and smashed his head in with a chair and was mown down in a hale of bullets.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:03 AM on July 12, 2005


You Londoner's statements warm my heart. Thanks.
It gives me hope.
Would it be all right if we USians moved back in?
We've already got a King George and everything!
posted by nofundy at 6:03 AM on July 12, 2005


Look. I lived in London for over twenty years and I'll add to those saying that this is complete arse.

London is the most truly diverse city I've ever seen. Different races and cultures mix far more freely than in, say, New York where although you see plenty of different peoples you also still see distinct "ghettoisation", for want of a better term. Brixton, London's supposedly "black area" is probably not more than 50 or 60 percent black. If you walk down Coldharbour lane at any time of day you see black and white faces and all shades in between. You see boyz in the hoodies and girls in the saris and chavs in the sportswear and old geezers in Dunn and Co tweeds and wankers like me in beaten up leather jackets.

In Tooting, where I've lived most of my life, a walk down the high street takes you past bookies, sari shops, Indian restaurants and sweet shops, asian food markets, Pakistani jewellers, old-boy pubs, chav hangouts, a couple of old school Lahndan markets, pounding clubby beats from the DJ music store, Italian and Chinese restaurants, a couple of mosques, a Hindu "temple", a few ill-attended C of E churches, an "Asian Men's Club" (always wondered about that one...) and all sorts of other blended and mutated signs of cultural cross-fertilisation.

London will be fine. I'm more concerned by what I've seen in northern cities like Leeds, Bradford and Barnsley where there definitely are whole areas which have become entirely inhabited by a particular race or culture. I went to university in Leeds back in the late seventies and a couple of years ago I returned for the first time in maybe fifteen years. The area I lived in for a year has become almost entirely muslim now. When I was there it was far more diverse. I'm not sure why this seems to be happening in northern cities more than it does in London, but it is noticeable.
posted by Decani at 6:12 AM on July 12, 2005


News flash people: the terrorists are real Muslims. The Americans voting against gay marriage or teaching evolution are real Christians too. Religion isn't pretty or nice. A major part of why it exists is to help people kill one another. You can't even say is just the extremists, as the normal believers indirectly support extremists.

We shouldn't hurt innocent people and we shouldn't tell people what to believe, but we shouldn't let the world's religions wiggle out of the damage that they do either. Your Muslim grocer is innocent, but Islam is not, and neither is Christianity.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:14 AM on July 12, 2005


My suspicion is this is due to our nasty and oh so British undercurrent of racism.

I'll tell you what is particularly British. Attributing universal traits of human nature to us alone.

I've only heard opinions like the ones linked come from America. The notion that Europe is soon going to turn into a muslim continent is an obsession of the US, not here. We fear immigrants in the same way we fear all poor, dispossessed people, but not specifically muslims the same way Americans do. I hope that doesn't change. I don't think the bombings are on a grand enough scale for that to happen.
posted by Summer at 6:17 AM on July 12, 2005


- As a resident of the great city of London, I think I can speak for all 10 million Londoners and say that the views of the Cowardly Lion across the Atlantic are of no concern to us.


- If the American press think that they can somehow make our recent tragedy an American problem, they can FUCK OFF.

- Y'know, I don't really think those of us here in London really give a fuck what a few American papers and 'commentators' have to say about our city.

*claps*

That's the spirit. That's all there is to say to this kind of vulture journalism really.

Also, again, if anyone can point me to any instances of the reverse after the attacks on NY in 2001? I don't think anyone but the far right, within or without America, was ganging up to decry lack of bigotry as the culprit.

Also, to add to what seanyboy said, 'Londonistan' is typical far-right speak. It's shameful to see it used so un-ironically.

The headscarf thing is just so ridiculous, I can't even imagine how they dreamt that up. Always nice to see the use of women side by side with use of tragedies to make a point, though. *sigh*
posted by funambulist at 6:17 AM on July 12, 2005


Decani - where did you live in Leeds?

(LS8 here - now mostly muslim. Looking around I'd say 65% pakistani/bangladeshi, 15% afro carribean, 15% white, 5% other (persian/former yugoslavian/turkish/etc)).
posted by handee at 6:18 AM on July 12, 2005


...ouch, screwed up the links to other comments in this thread, sorry... is there a way to edit that?
posted by funambulist at 6:19 AM on July 12, 2005


There is more diversity of culture in each and every postal code of London than there is in all of NYC.

Grew up in London, now live in Manhattan. I call bull. Both are diverse, tolerant cities. Both have rather exclusively wealthy and white neighborhoods. Both are polyglot. Both have histories of racial and ethnic violence and tension, but massive everyday cultures of happy heterogeneity. I love them both and find this statement invidious and false and not at all helpful.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:20 AM on July 12, 2005


Enougn about what America or Britain being the source of Anglo-Muslim relations going south. What is the Muslim community going to do to eradicate this cancer that threatens to destroy their religios? For once, I want terorists delivered to authorities by their fellow muslims. Such acts would clearly indicate where their interests lie and improve humanity on the whole..
posted by WebToy at 6:21 AM on July 12, 2005


Jeff, what are you basing those statements on?

Quakers are Christians, I see a lot of Quakers protesting the war and promoting gay and women's rights. Apparently you CAN be a Christian and not be an ultra conservative fundamentalist. The same goes for Islam.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:21 AM on July 12, 2005


This is at least the third FPP in as many days that at least implies that Britons somehow 'brought it on themselves' because of the tolerance they show to their Muslim population. Can we stop this shit already?

OK, so the UK doesn't have a Guantanamo Bay. As far as I know, it also doesn't have immigration detention centers holding Muslim by the thousands without these latter having any legal recourse (you know, because they're not citizens) and for indefinite periods of time.

It's seriously starting to piss me off to see right-wing posts parroting this moronic point of view, when the mere mention of the name "Rove" is now considered a sufficient reason to pull an FPP post-haste. What the fuck is happening to Metafilter? If I wanted to frequent a site where the right wing makes the editorial decisions I'd go back to Fark, thank you very much.
posted by clevershark at 6:23 AM on July 12, 2005


Decani - where did you live in Leeds?

I lived in Manor Drive, Headingley. The area I was referring to is what we used to call "The Brudenells", just a little towards the university from my old house.
posted by Decani at 6:32 AM on July 12, 2005


What clevershark said.

And is it too much to ask people to use the spellcheck? *sighs*
posted by ciderwoman at 6:33 AM on July 12, 2005


This is at least the third FPP in as many days

Yes, haven't we already discussed this in just the last 24 hours? When did this become IntoleranceFilter?

What the fuck is happening to Metafilter? If I wanted to frequent a site where the right wing makes the editorial decisions

And where fearful whinging about terrorism is the order of the day . . . Come on. 50 people died in car accidents in the last hour or so in the USA. Not to minimize the bombings at all, but to question why fear has such a hold on the modern imagination. After all, if you walk around afraid of the statistically insignificant chance you might get blown up on the subway, haven't "the terrorists" won? Oddly, that's how the right wing "wins" too. So they want to keep us all whipped up. Just like al quaeda.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:36 AM on July 12, 2005


Derail addressed to Decani... Yeah, Leeds 6 has seen some decimation of its population due to student numbers: I think that every other house in the area now stands empty over the summer. Pretty much the only permanent residents left are the asian families. The council is trying to reverse the trend (there's no community, the schools are shutting, the local business sell pizza, curry or pot noodles) by limiting student numbers. It's a direct result of landlordism (pile them high, don't maintain the properties, etc.) and the frankly abysmal behaviour of drunken student louts.
posted by handee at 6:38 AM on July 12, 2005


The fear is derived from N. Korea selling missiles to Iran and Iran having a nuclear energy program capable of producing weapons grade material. Oh yeah, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.
posted by WebToy at 6:40 AM on July 12, 2005


actually maybe you're right about leeds
posted by handee at 6:42 AM on July 12, 2005


I see a lot of Quakers protesting the war and promoting gay and women's rights. Apparently you CAN be a Christian and not be an ultra conservative fundamentalist. The same goes for Islam.

i'd be interested to know which sect of Islam promotes gay rights.
posted by dydecker at 6:43 AM on July 12, 2005


So what happened to Soviet Canuckistan? I live in London now (in Hackney, which is about as multicultural as London gets), and love it for its diversity, tolerance, live-and-let live attitude etc ...but I recently spent six months in Toronto, which is another extremely culturally diverse and tolerant city - I'd worry about those sneaky Canadians first. They are closer, after all. I guess Torontostan isn't as neat as Londonistan.
posted by rikabel at 6:43 AM on July 12, 2005


Oh yeah, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.

And acting like terrified bunnyrabbits over a few bombs helps this how? Arguably, your statement is a vicious condemnation of the policies of the Bush and Blair administrations, which have focused all their "anti-terror" energies on states without WMDs (though they lied to us about one of them).

Any evidence, by the way, that Iran or North Korea were "behind" 9/11 or the London bombings? Didn't think so.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:44 AM on July 12, 2005


i'd be interested to know which sect of Islam promotes gay rights.

For complex reasons, a straw man. But some Sufi communities are quite tolerant of homosexuality. And persecuted because of it.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:46 AM on July 12, 2005


Not to minimize the bombings at all, but to question why fear has such a hold on the modern imagination.

Fear doesn't seem to have much of a hold here in London; the bombers succeeded in crippling London's transport system during rush hour, and in killing just over 50 people.

And you know what? Both of those happen fairly frequently without the aid of terrorists. Railtrack/Network Rail/whoever have killed many times more innocent civilians than these bombers did.

So this insistence coming from America that 'London is hurting', and other such piteous whining, pretty much falls on deaf ears. We've seen worse, and will most likely see worse again. London has got back to normal because in several ways, this is normal.

And I absolutely do not want to hear 'We are all Londoners' ever again. No, you're not fucking Londoners, you've just been watching too much rolling news.
posted by influx at 6:46 AM on July 12, 2005


It's a direct result of landlordism (pile them high, don't maintain the properties, etc.)

Handee: I can believe it, because that was exactly the situation I lived in. There were five of us in the most mouldering, septic terrace I've ever seen in my life. Mould cultures on every wall, plaster sagging and crumbling through extreme damp, a fresh lattice of slug trails on the rotting excuse for a carpet every morning, a cellar we didn't dare go into for fear of instant toxic shock and consumption by rats...

Happy days!
posted by Decani at 6:49 AM on July 12, 2005


"Any evidence, by the way, that Iran or North Korea were "behind" 9/11 or the London bombings? Didn't think so."

Try pulling your head out of your ass and grasp the fact that we are involved in World War III at the moment and technological progress has presented mankind with a helluva conundrum.

Thankfully we are not letting years slip by sitting on our hands waiting for our enemies to accumulate enough destructive force to extinguish many many more lives than 911 ever did.
posted by WebToy at 6:52 AM on July 12, 2005


As a resident of the great city of London, I think I can speak for all 10 million Londoners and say that the views of the Cowardly Lion across the Atlantic are of no concern to us.

Your gratuitous slap at the U.S. as "cowardly" only makes you sound like an asshole (e.g., Sep. 11th, etc).

Also, it seems when it comes to catching the maniacs who did this, U.S. views are of some concern

Let's all just get along.
posted by theknacker at 6:53 AM on July 12, 2005


Having experienced 9/11 and its aftermath first hand (working in New York) and having chatted with many London friends over the past few days about their first hand experience, I have a developed a theory that isolated terrorist attacks can't really change anything, particularly when they're focused on the most cosmopolitan places in a country.

If there's no follow-up attack, people just write it off, and keep on going about their lives in exactly the same way. Had the Taliban not been so stupid as to provide state sponsorship for Al Quaeda, the U.S. wouldn't have even made the limited external response that we made in Afghanistan. (It's important to note that we never had even 20% of the troops on the ground in Afghanistan as we have in Iraq -- I wonder what we would have done post-9/11 had there been no pre-existing Northern Alliance forces for us to back up with air power.)

The real test will come if and when the terrorists can get up a sustained campaign of attacks, and in particular if they can target a significant amount of damage on non-cosmopolitan targets -- in U.S. terms, it would be attacking a mall in Ohio or a megachurch in Texas. (Not really sure what the British equivalent of that might be.) A lot more people will feel a lot more vulnerable, and, unlike New Yorkers or Londoners, they're not going to be people who are personally acquainted with lots of Muslims and recognize that Muslims in the main are not any more likely to be terrorists, or sympathetic with them, than anyone else.
posted by MattD at 6:57 AM on July 12, 2005


The most encouraging news coming out of Iraq lately:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/04/wirq04.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/07/04/ixworld.html
posted by WebToy at 7:00 AM on July 12, 2005


Try pulling your head out of your ass and grasp the fact that we are involved in World War III at the moment and technological progress has presented mankind with a helluva conundrum.

Oh, I'm so impressed at your forensic skills. I'll be sure to pull my head right out of my ass. Thank you so much for the suggestion. /sarcasm

I do not concede we are involved in "World War III," and find that statement absurd on its face, alarmist, and of a piece with the propaganda machine's worst. Now, I asked you a question. Do you have any evidence AT ALL that Iran or North Korea, the so-called "state sponsors of terrorism," "sponsored either 9/11 or the London bombings?

And while we're on the subject, which state has clean hands here, and cannot be accused of sponsoring "terrorism?"
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:02 AM on July 12, 2005


"A lot more people will feel a lot more vulnerable, and, unlike New Yorkers or Londoners, they're not going to be people who are personally acquainted with lots of Muslims and recognize that Muslims in the main are not any more likely to be terrorists, or sympathetic with them, than anyone else"

The paramount reason why prideful Muslims must polish up their PR program and start backing up their rhetoric a deliver these terrorists to the West as a peace offering.
posted by WebToy at 7:03 AM on July 12, 2005


Pollomacho, you don't understand the notion of an implication which is not an equivalence. The point is that you are very very probably religious
- IF your pro-life,
- IF you oppose teaching evolution, or
- IF you blow up random civilians in western cities.
All are the result of the religiously driven decisions which make our world a little worse off.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:04 AM on July 12, 2005


Fear doesn't seem to have much of a hold here in London

In NYC either. Bravo to both cities, and fi on the wimps in small towns and newsrooms for whipping this all up into the kind of frenzy that makes some fools believe we are in the equivalent of "world war III" here. Not one New Yorker I know has even thought twice about riding the subway in the last week. If you live in fear, you amplify the power of a few crazies -- the terrorists, and the current administration of the United States. NO FEAR! No wonder the terrorists think they can achieve something with these pissant little bombs.

Note that New Yorkers are, statistically, among the least impressed by Bush's bull. London has rather a proud history of showing no fear as well.
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:09 AM on July 12, 2005


what clevershark said.
w
t
f
matt?
posted by mr.marx at 7:10 AM on July 12, 2005


For complex reasons, a straw man.

Who is inventing a straw man here? The guy upthread said both Islam and Christianity can be very tolerant and offered "promoting gay rights" as one example of such tolerance. I take it these Islamic groups exist and are not just straw men.

Admittedly I have no direct experience of what liberal Muslims in the West are up to these days.
posted by dydecker at 7:10 AM on July 12, 2005


Try pulling your head out of your ass and grasp the fact that we are involved in World War III at the moment and technological progress has presented mankind with a helluva conundrum.

Thankfully we are not letting years slip by sitting on our hands waiting for our enemies to accumulate enough destructive force to extinguish many many more lives than 911 ever did.
posted by WebToy at 6:52 AM PST on July 12


Uh, are you joking? What do Iran or "DPR"K have to do with the topic? There's no evidence that either was involved with the September 11 attacks or the recent London tube bombings. And what's all this about preventing terrorists from accumulating destructive force? You honestly think that we're winning the War on Terror? That you arrest a few people here, blow up a village with a few there and all of a sudden no more terrorists?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:12 AM on July 12, 2005


Do you have any evidence AT ALL that Iran or North Korea, the so-called "state sponsors of terrorism," "sponsored either 9/11 or the London bombings?

I am more concerned with Iran's connection with the acts of terrorism currently taking place in Iraq. We have not attacked Iran or North Korea based on a connection to 9/11, so I am unclear on your emphasis. Are you implying that we really shouldn't be concerned about those two countries, sworn enemies of the United States, acting in conjunction against US interests?
posted by WebToy at 7:17 AM on July 12, 2005


Britain had been too squeamish about respecting Muslims' rights.

Luckily, Netherlands is starting to get the memo that religious militants in a free-speech environment leads to the inevitable. Via BBC:

Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, said he acted out of his religious beliefs and that he would do "exactly the same" if he were ever set free.

Prosecutors say Mr Bouyeri killed Mr Van Gogh in a ritualistic murder committed in the name of radical Islam.

The November 2004 murder shocked the Netherlands and raised ethnic tensions.

"I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion," he told the court in Amsterdam. "I can assure you that one day, should I be set free, I would do exactly the same, exactly the same," he added.

Mr Bouyeri was arrested following a shoot-out with police just minutes after Mr Van Gogh's killing. The prosecution said Mr Bouyeri had hoped to die a "martyr" at the hands of the police.



Ad nauseum.

~wink~
posted by dhoyt at 7:19 AM on July 12, 2005


There is more diversity of culture in each and every postal code of London than there is in all of NYC.

Having lived both in London and NYC, I call bull as well. In NYC I live and work with people from all over the world: at my small workplace there are people born in China, Japan, Afghanistan, Germany, Russia and Holland.

I do think the worst thing that comes out of these terrorist attacks is the marginalization and isolation of people with any sort of connection to Islam.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:20 AM on July 12, 2005


Who is inventing a straw man here? . . . I take it these Islamic groups exist and are not just straw men.

Fair enough. I'm not talking about liberal Muslims in the west. I'm talking about Sufis in Pakistan. I don't really want to open the can of worms this will spill, however, if I go on. Didn't mean to insult.
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:21 AM on July 12, 2005


If Mayor Curley could develop a sense of humor and stop being so bloody twitchy every time he suspects condescension (not to mention his spittle-flecked habit of using horrid words like "soiling"), his good points wouldn't be so obscured.
Viz: "Religious extremism is dangerous no matter who's practicing it."
Yes.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:21 AM on July 12, 2005


You ask why Halifax, Bradford and perhaps Leeds have more of a racial problem than London. This is pt 1:

I think it's to do with ...

Mangla Dam.
Forced Migration of Pakistanis to the North of England.
Poor treatment of textile workers in 19th / early 20th c.
Collapse of the textile industry and resultant unemployment.
posted by seanyboy at 7:22 AM on July 12, 2005


Your gratuitous slap at the U.S. as "cowardly" only makes you sound like an asshole (e.g., Sep. 11th, etc).

theknacker, coward is as coward does.

When ordinary Londoners were getting back on the Tubes and facing the Muslim terrorist boogeyman, when tens of thousands of Londoners were gathering on the Mall to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 two days after the terrorist attacks, when the little old lady known as the queen made her arrival in front of that crowd in an open topped, unarmoured Land Rover, uniformed members of the most powerful military force on Earth were ordered to stay outside the M25 orbital around London "for their safety."

(Embarassed, the ban was lifted. )

The US can choose to live in fear of scumbag terrorists, Londoners won't.
posted by three blind mice at 7:27 AM on July 12, 2005


Are you implying that we really shouldn't be concerned about those two countries, sworn enemies of the United States, acting in conjunction against US interests?

Well if we were so fucking concerned maybe we shouldn't have gone to war with a totally different country for reasons that are still unclear.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:27 AM on July 12, 2005


i'd be interested to know which sect of Islam promotes gay rights.

Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society

The 13th century poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi is still so revered by the Sufi that December 17th, the date he died, is a dervish holiday, his poems revolve around how his love for God is much like the sexual ecstacy he feels... when he's with his boyfriends.

In Pakistan there is a long held traditional group called Hijras. They are men or transgendered men who dress as women and work as prostitutes for "strait" men. While they are not accepted members of "polite society" per se, they are allowed to exist in their own world and the men that frequent their services are not outcast. They are often hired to dance at social events, such as weddings. They pray in the men's side of the mosque.

Let's not have the impression that all of the Middle East is like some Taliban ruled cesspool, please. Things are extremely hard for gays in the Middle East, particularly in the Arab (and macho) world.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:27 AM on July 12, 2005


Are you implying that we really shouldn't be concerned about those two countries, sworn enemies of the United States, acting in conjunction against US interests?

Ah, change the subject why don't you? What the heck does this have to do with condoning intolerance for immigrant Muslim communities in the west? Hell, North Korea is not even an Islamic state. Also, we have no good evidence that Iran is "sponsoring" the Iraqi insurgency -- quite the contrary, since the insurgency is largely driven by Sunni elements fearful of the rise of Shi'ite majority power in the new Iraq. It's been my perception that Iran is a thoroughly rational political entity over the last few years. North Korea is another issue, but even then I wonder how much the "irrationality" of that state is being exaggerated for our sheepish consumption.

Even if you believe this "sworn enemy of the US" stuff, we're doing nothing particularly rational to mitigate the perceived "threat" from these states by occupying Iraq.
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:28 AM on July 12, 2005


My dates are not so good there. The mangla dam was built in 1967, so this is a more recent problem than I realised.
posted by seanyboy at 7:28 AM on July 12, 2005


wow. This is like totally turning into a UK vs US slugfest. How long before someone asks where the UK would be if it wasn't for the American intervention during the second world war???

I'm starting to count down now.
posted by seanyboy at 7:32 AM on July 12, 2005


The US can choose to live in fear of scumbag terrorists, Londoners won't.

Not to downplay the London attacks, but the US lost sixty times more people in the 9/11 attacks, in a series of unimaginably horrible incidents which were televised and replayed. Why wouldn't you think we'd be exponentially more affected, genius?
posted by dhoyt at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2005


MESSAGE FROM LONDON

The award of the 2012 Olympics to London was largely because the city was seen as a place where people from all over the world could live, work and play together in safety.

Then, the morning after the announcement, Londoners like myself were brutally reminded that there are those to whom the very idea of people from all over the world living and working and playing together is hateful.

The bombers, whoever they are, are senselessly callous and cruel. But I have met many people in my life who see tolerance as weakness, ignorance as strength and compassion as something reserved for true believers. And only a few of them were Muslim.

For better or worse I, and my parents and generations before me, have lived in a society which has thrived on change, encouraged scientific enquiry and believed in the ideal of progress. As a result we have a world of sometimes almost reckless modernity in which some people feel left behind, or worse still, trampled on by those rushing to get more of what our technological society can create.

But we can’t change now. We can’t de-invent what we’ve invented. We can’t not try to understand what is new and interesting. We can’t censor our thoughts. So we will continue to incur the wrath of those who believe that minds and bodies should be controlled, if necessary by force.

Our best weapon against this destructive bigotry is the freedom and tolerance we’ve acquired, not without pain and difficulty, over hundreds of years. It demands that we avoid condemning without reason or evidence. That we relish diversity and understand non-conformity without demonising it.

That we never assume our way of life is better just because we have more money and more things. Some of the poorest people I’ve met on my travels have been the most open, hospitable, inventive. And though their resources are scarce they know how to look after them and paradoxically are often more in control of their lives than any millionaire hiding in a gated community.

If we believe our “way of life” is best then we must prove it, not by bullying or bragging, but by showing the intelligence that lifetimes of hard won liberties have bought for us. One of the greatest tests of this intelligence is understanding how others feel. To understand the world we don’t need anything hi-tech, we need the brain to comprehend and appreciate the universal feelings that we share with others, whatever our creed or colour. We can only fight closed minds with open minds.

Real progress is something that happens in your head.

I suppose what I’m saying is listen, learn, read, travel, argue but don’t live in gated communities. Whatever, I'll be using the London Underground as usual this week. It’s a vital part of a very vital city. And a vital part of looking, listening, learning, and meeting the rest of the world.
Michael Palin. London July 11th.
posted by mr.marx at 7:35 AM on July 12, 2005


If any good comes out of this attack, it will be the UK telling BushCo and the right wingers over hear to go sod themselves.

influx's comment is dead on. This sucked, but you know, compared to, say, the Blitz, this is nothing. You go on.

Unlike America, were we justify atrocity after atrocity by yelling "9/11!"

Fuck us.
posted by eriko at 7:35 AM on July 12, 2005


Webtoy, are you related to PP?
posted by ciderwoman at 7:36 AM on July 12, 2005


The six nearest religious buildings to my house (in order) are a Muslim school, a mosque, a mosque, a Muslim education centre, a mosque, a mosque and a christian church

Within about 100 yards on my street: secular school, Jewish school, Muslim school, shul, mini-mosque, Muslim housing association, black social club, lesbian bar, Turkish social club. There's never any trouble. I'd just like to add another London voice saying that this is the biggest load of arse I've heard in a long time.
posted by flashboy at 7:40 AM on July 12, 2005


Prosecutors say Mr Bouyeri killed Mr Van Gogh in a ritualistic murder committed in the name of radical Islam.

dhoyt, another Dutchman, Pim Fortyn who once said "if it were legally possible, I'd say no more muslim should ever enter this country" nevertheless defended their right to freedom of speech and said that it was wrong to prosecute radical Muslims for their speech.
posted by three blind mice at 7:43 AM on July 12, 2005


Pollomacho, you don't understand the notion of an implication which is not an equivalence. The point is that you are very very probably religious
- IF your pro-life,
- IF you oppose teaching evolution, or
- IF you blow up random civilians in western cities.
All are the result of the religiously driven decisions which make our world a little worse off


And that point would be false. First of all, let's dispell a preconception here, most of the deaths caused by suicide bombings in the last decade were of religious people killed by radical atheist Marxists in Sri Lanka. Second, being a conservative and being "religious" (by this I assume you mean pious) are not mutually exclusive.

The Soviets and Maoists were neither known for their religious convictions nor their openness to civil rights.

Sufi muslims are some of the most devoutly pious people in the Islamic world, yet they are some of the most open.

Quakers, the United Church of Christ and many, many other Christian groups are both full of pious Christians and open minded liberals.

You have clearly confused piety with fundamentalism and conservatism.

Last, religious groups are also committing acts of kindness and charity on a scale far and above what any secular group does. Billions upon billions of dollars flow worldwide into the hands of the poor. People are fed, sheltered and clothed by religious groups. More people are saved, and I mean that in the literal sense, in a year than are killed by any extremist asshole and his car bomb. From a muslim paying his tithe to a nun giving up her secular life to provide for the down trodden religion can also provide a hell of a lot of good to the world.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:03 AM on July 12, 2005


From mr.marx's link to Michael Palin:
If we believe our “way of life” is best then we must prove it, not by bullying or bragging, but by showing the intelligence that lifetimes of hard won liberties have bought for us. One of the greatest tests of this intelligence is understanding how others feel. To understand the world we don’t need anything hi-tech, we need the brain to comprehend and appreciate the universal feelings that we share with others, whatever our creed or colour. We can only fight closed minds with open minds.

Real progress is something that happens in your head.
Exactly. It should be obvious to everyone that the kinds of attitudes found in the FPP links are infinitely more destructive to society than a handful of bombs.
posted by bwerdmuller at 8:05 AM on July 12, 2005


Not to downplay the London attacks, but the US lost sixty times more people in the 9/11 attacks, in a series of unimaginably horrible incidents which were televised and replayed. Why wouldn't you think we'd be exponentially more affected, genius?

Your glib comment downplays the London attacks quite nicely, dhoyt.

About 3 million Londoners ride the tube every day; 500,000 on the Piccadilly line alone. Those bombs on the underground hit VERY close to home for Londoners and damned if almost every one of those 3 million travellers faced their fears and got back onto the trains Monday morning.

As the comments in this thread from my fellow Londoners illustrate, we are not going to change our open, tolerant city because of the acts of a few terrorists.

And that, genius, is the only proper response to terrorism.
posted by three blind mice at 8:06 AM on July 12, 2005


Whilst we are on the subject, the likelyhood of riots tonight in Leeds is quite high, it's going to be another hot evening. There have been a number of serches of property involving the London Met with army support in an 'intelligence' led operation 'directly linked' with last Thursdays bombings as linked to by handee.

I would hope the local rag does it's best to not encourage people to take the law into their own hands, but due to it's usual nationalist bias I wont be holding my breath.

There has been considerable work done since the Bradford riots in quelling the oportunist BNP attempts to exascerbate the tensions, lets hope this recent development doesn't set us back again. They wont stop Unity Day, not that it is directly related.
posted by asok at 8:07 AM on July 12, 2005


Admittedly I have no direct experience of what liberal Muslims in the West are up to these days.

Oh, stuff like coming out on BB as a gay super-camp cross-dresser who likes pork and booze then getting bomb packages that turn out to contain only stilettos. Oooh.

Oh you mean the ordinary people outside of Endemol productions? Sorry, not worth talking about if not cartoonish enough to be on tv. Presumably they are busy doing boring things like working, raising kids, going to school, running businesses, making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, seeing their friends, planning a trip. That's what it means to be invisible today.

(not-entirely-serious rant on reality shows)

No, really, what else do you think they're up to, if not what everyone else is up to, to make it through life? It's not like being a Muslim comes with a trust fund. If only.
posted by funambulist at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2005


webtoy, I'm curious:

>...acting in conjunction against US interests?

What's your definition of US interests?
posted by gsb at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2005



Whilst we are on the subject, the likelyhood of riots tonight in Leeds is quite high, it's going to be another hot evening.


A mosque was already attacked there the other day...i posted about it in one of the other threads.

You guys might want to start escorting Muslims around to shop and stuff--we did after 9/11.
posted by amberglow at 8:27 AM on July 12, 2005


And that, genius, is the only proper response to terrorism.

Kashief Dunbar, 40, a sales and marketing manager for Fitness First, says: "London in the aftermath of the bombing reminds me of Cape Town during apartheid. All those years of racial hatred are coming back to me.


The Metropolitan police have recorded a sharp rise in hate crimes following the London attacks, including attacks on mosques, physical attacks and verbal abuse.

In the three days after the bombing, police in London recorded 180 racial incidents. A total of 58 faith-related crimes were recorded, compared with one in the same period last year.


A mosque has been firebombed, and Muslims in traditional clothes are now viewed by some with suspicion and even hostility.

Four mosques in the UK have been hit by vandals after the July 7 acts of terrorism in London. The London police have arrested three suspects “unconnected with the underground bombings” from Heathrow Airport under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, while one Pakistani allegedly carrying a map of the London underground was arrested from another airport outside London. The police reported incidents of abusive language used against Muslims in the streets and Pakistani MPs from the Labour Party have expressed fears about a rise in hate crimes in the UK in the aftermath of the July 7 acts of terrorism.

Your 'proper responses' sound delightful. Can I come live in that open, tolerant city of yours?

In other news, New York City, considering its loss of sixty times what London suffered, has managed to go on exceedingly well; still tough, still fearless, and still tolerant of a huge cornucopia of cultures. The same cannot be said for a few idiots in our gov't, but we're comparing cities here, and for the sake of comparison, you've inadvertantly made quite a few gutless claims about the New York response to 9/11. I've enjoyed deflating them.
posted by dhoyt at 8:29 AM on July 12, 2005


My attack is bigger than yours.
My city is less of a breeding ground -stan than yours.
My city is more tolerant than yours.
My Muslims are better than yours!!
posted by funambulist at 8:33 AM on July 12, 2005


Pollomacho, your Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society doesn't seem to have anything to do with Islam. Are you sure you haven't linked to a secular group there? :)

The eunuchs and 13th century Sufi philosopher you cite as proof of the liberalism of Islam are rather tenuous and unconvincing to say the least. They certainly are a far cry from your initial assertion that Islamic groups promote gay rights.
posted by dydecker at 8:35 AM on July 12, 2005


Amberglow: You guys might want to start escorting Muslims around to shop and stuff--we did after 9/11.
dhoyt: Your 'proper responses' sound delightful. Can I come live in that open, tolerant city of yours?

This is starting to go nowhere fast.
posted by seanyboy at 8:35 AM on July 12, 2005


[OT]
Firefox users should really check out the "Mefi-killfile" greasemonkey script... I've only been using it for a few days, and it's *really* improved the signal-to-noise ratio.
[/OT]
posted by clevershark at 8:38 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt: I don't think that anyone's claiming either the UK or the US response is proper or correct. I mentioned that firebombing in the first comment in this thread. I'm hoping we don't get any more intolerant. I'm hoping the prediction of riots in Leeds tonight doesn't come true.
posted by handee at 8:43 AM on July 12, 2005


Last, religious groups are also committing acts of kindness and charity on a scale far and above what any secular group does.

"any secular group". Yeah, right. Only if you don't count entire governments. The charity model works so well that the middle ages must have been a freaking paradise.

Look, Pollomacho--you're saying largely reasonable stuff, but you're being so defensive about religion that you're missing the point. Indeed, I suspect you're twisting the point for your own ideological purposes.

My point would be this: I am a libertarian-lefty with Christian sympathies (sounds sorta Quaker, don't it?) and I believe strongly in tolerance, openness, and multiculturalism as general principles.

But in embracing the value of tolerance, I must also embrace the value of inttolerance to fundamentalisms (which, you are correct, are not the same as pious religiosities).

As such, I oppose fundamentalists of all stripes, whether secular or not. This is a clear position that is consistent with my belief in a live-and-let-live society. And your attempt to left-bash by bringing in maoist terrorism doesn't change it one jot.

So, I ask you: is tolerance a suicide pact? Is it really necessary to tolerate people (of whatever ideology or theology) who militantly advance intolerant views--to the point of believing western-style small-L liberal constitutional republics are "ungodly" and should be replaced by theocracies? Let me turn around your raising of the issue of athiest Marxist terrorists: in the US we indeed have been very intolerant of totalizing left wing world views. Yet, there is not equal intolerance of totalizing theocratic ones. Why?

Aside from the idiotic nationalistic braying, this is the important substance most of the posts to this thread.
____________
posted by mondo dentro at 8:44 AM on July 12, 2005


I'm hoping we don't get any more intolerant. I'm hoping the prediction of riots in Leeds tonight doesn't come true.

FWIW: I agree and I hope there aren't any riots period, and I hope everyone can live in harmony in both London in New York despite the attacks. But it's hard not to fly off the handle a bit when it becomes fashionable to say what 'cowards' we were after 9/11 and how remarkably plucky and unflappable the English were when the nature and scale of the attacks are quite different. Fashionable self-loathing & contrarian perspective is never in shortage at MeFi.
posted by dhoyt at 8:48 AM on July 12, 2005


derbs writes "islamic fundamentalists preaching hate and murder and intolerance in the centre of our big cities. And then sponging off the tolerant welfare state. "

Not sure what you are talking about here, but I have heard that the extremist preachers travel to tolerant countries to spout as they are not tolerated in strict muslim countries. Ironic really.

WebToy writes "The paramount reason why prideful Muslims must polish up their PR program and start backing up their rhetoric a deliver these terrorists to the West as a peace offering"

Funnily enough, the offer of one Osama Bin Laden, delivery of whom which was likely possible at the time, was rejected by the US in favour of a large scale invasion of a virtually defenceless country (practice for Iraq?) . Abdul Haq, one man who could have united Afghanistan and delivered Bin Laden, was not supported by the US when he set out to overthrow the Taliban. He was captured and murdered as a spy. The Taliban commander who captured him would not let him speak for fear his subordinates would revolt, so powerful was Abdul's charisma.
Abdul Haq would not have been a puppet, I believe that was why he was not supported.

Amberglow, my sister was talking about doing similar, she is researching the police and Unity Coalition tactics for tonight as we speak. Visible presence is the buzz-word. I will be at self-defense class, which is not a knee-jerk reaction to recent events, honest! Although tonight it one's self preservation may be better served by walking the streets of Leeds than by exercising in a hall with other pot-bellied 30 somethings.I have actually been going for three years.

If it weren't for your belligerent tone, I would have thanked you for your work dhoyt. London and New York are very similar in many ways.

posted by asok at 8:51 AM on July 12, 2005


I apologize for any belligerance; as I said, I found offensive what had been said and I (impulsively) acted on it. It never would have occurred to me to compare the two attacks until certain folk put forth the predictable canard about US 'cowardice'.
posted by dhoyt at 8:59 AM on July 12, 2005


It never would have occurred to me to compare the two attacks until certain folk put forth the predictable canard about US 'cowardice'.

I for one do think the US (my home country) has a cowardly streak at the collective level--one that allowed us to be stampeded into the PATRIOT act and the Operation Iraqi Liberation. But this is not unique to us. And I've never overvalued all of this stiff upper lip stuff, since I can see what's underneath it. It's charming, and even impressive, but it's not all that deep.

At the level of daily life, the stereotyping is idiotic. Haven't any of these people noticed US sports arenas, rock concerts or public celebrations? Live 8 in Philly, to take just one example, was pretty damn packed.

That said, I'm fond of the UK, and heartily agree that London is an extraordanary city, one to be proud of. But you don't have to be a nationalistic twat about it.
____________
posted by mondo dentro at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt, I think you're misreading any comments about cowardice. As far as I can see no one has called NY cowardly (awaits embarrassing pointing out of post), rather the actions of those in the US military who told soldiers here not to go to London, or, in 3BM's post, referring to the fears of the administration over people coming from the UK to the US. I don't think anyone would refer to New Yorks reaction to 9/11 as cowardly, and I also don't think comparing bodycounts is in anyway productive.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2005


it's hard not to fly off the handle a bit when it becomes fashionable to say what 'cowards' we were after 9/11

Speaking as an American, A BUNCH OF US HAVE TAKEN COMPLETE LEAVE OF OUR SENSES!

If it weren't for American panic, there would be a lot of people alive now that aren't, and that's inarguable.

Does someone pointing that out huwt you feewings? Suck it up. We as a country haven't exactly been comporting ourselves with dignity the last few years. (including me, too often)
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2005


Now they're saying the bombers all died in the attacks? So they were suicide bombers.
posted by amberglow at 9:10 AM on July 12, 2005


Do we still have to close tags?

To be clear, weather is always a contributing factor to riots, AFAIK. It has been very warm for 4 days now, sleep has been difficult and work even moreso. People will be out on the streets anyway. Lots of people like the chance for a looting, that is what happened with the so-called race riots in Bradford, which travelled a mile an a half to get to some good shops for looting.

The most vulnerable groups will be asylum seekers. As usual they are likely to be easy targets for the violent cowards often found at the bottom of the social pyramid regardless of colour. They are housed (involuntarily) in areas where no-one wants to live, ASBO central, and persecuted by daily insults and attacks on person and property as well as by the asylum system itself.

Thanks dhoyt. Sorry about the partially relevant links, I haven't the time to get more focused.
posted by asok at 9:11 AM on July 12, 2005


Oops, just seen your last post dhoyt. It's that damn small writing, so easy to miss.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:11 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt, I think you're misreading any comments about cowardice. As far as I can see no one has called NY cowardly (awaits embarrassing pointing out of post),

As a resident of the great city of London, I think I can speak for all 10 million Londoners and say that the views of the Cowardly Lion across the Atlantic are of no concern to us.

The US can choose to live in fear of scumbag terrorists, Londoners won't.

Unlike America, were we justify atrocity after atrocity by yelling "9/11!" Fuck us.

Again, it is easy to say these things when the attacks you've suffered are very different in scale. I'm glad London wants to move on, I'm glad NY has managed to move on, but I think painting the population as 'cowardly' isn't helping the arguement. Clearly, London is no less backlash-prone than was NY/US, and were the scale bigger in London, so too would be the backlash. The US does not hold a monopoly on fear or reactionary behavior.
posted by dhoyt at 9:30 AM on July 12, 2005


when it becomes fashionable to say what 'cowards' we were after 9/11

To be honest, I took the 'cowardly lion' comment to be a reference to the US military banning servicemen and women from visiting London. I may have misread, that was on my mind a lot today. My mind used the word 'cowardly' quite a lot when thinking about it.
posted by vbfg at 9:32 AM on July 12, 2005


People over there are saying those things more because of our govt's actions, and the patriot act etc, and the invasion/occupation of Iraq, etc rather than because of us personally. They know we're at the mercy of our govt, just like they are. They also know that by following Bush into Iraq, it made this attack much much more likely, and they want to blame someone. they're allowed.
posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on July 12, 2005


OK, dydecker, again I'll admit that life is generally pretty tough for gays in the Islamic world. The statement I made which you have been misquoting continuously in this thread was:

Apparently you CAN be a Christian and not be an ultra conservative fundamentalist. The same goes for Islam.

Now, I did use promotion of gay rights as an example of something a Christian group does that shows that they are not fundamentalist conservatives, I did not state or even imply that this was the case for Islam. Incidentally, I also used women's rights but you decided to focus on the gay thing. When I and others pointed out repeatedly that the sect you are looking for is called Sufism, you've decided to ignore this. I don't know what you are looking for, but apparently whatever I present it's not going to be enough for you.

I stand by my actual statement that not all Christians and not all Muslims are extremists, fundamentalists and/or conservatives.

Incidentally, Islam only has two "sects" (and they are more like religious political parties than actual sects) unlike the much divided Christian world. Also a tenet of Islam is that any organization a Muslim is part of is a Muslim organization because they do not believe in the separation of religion and everyday life. A group of Muslim gays would thusly not be a sectarian group. I did link an Arab gay group rather than a Muslim gay group, but that is because I am at work and can only provide limited links from sex related sites.

The "eunuchs" I talked about are not eunuchs. A few actually have "operations" however most are fully men and they do not have sex with women.

Look, Pollomacho--you're saying largely reasonable stuff, but you're being so defensive about religion that you're missing the point. Indeed, I suspect you're twisting the point for your own ideological purposes.

I'm not, just because I am defending religion does not mean I subscribe to one. I am also not left-bashing, I do subscribe to a leftist political lean, again, be careful, I brought up the Marxists because that's what they were not because I wanted to bash Marxism. I think if you look at my other posts about not tolerating dangerous fundamentalism to the point of suicide, you'll see that we are arguing from the same side.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:37 AM on July 12, 2005


Thunderstorm approaching with rain. Lightning!
This could cool the atmosphere.
/weatherfilter
posted by asok at 9:42 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt, read your own links! From the second one:

When ordinary Londoners were getting back on the Tubes and facing the Muslim terrorist boogeyman, when tens of thousands of Londoners were gathering on the Mall to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 two days after the terrorist attacks, when the little old lady known as the queen made her arrival in front of that crowd in an open topped, unarmoured Land Rover, uniformed members of the most powerful military force on Earth were ordered to stay outside the M25 orbital around London "for their safety."

Really, it's about the US servicemen being told to keep away from London. Not one of those links you posted says that New Yorkers are cowards.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:44 AM on July 12, 2005


To what extent will Britain comply with demands for change from the conservative right?

dhoyt, I don't know why I am feeding your troll. You made the comparison to 9/11. I never did. My comparison was the respective response to the attacks in London.

From the link I provided above: The Conservative MP Andrew Robathan condemned the ban, saying: "I would have hoped our American allies could show a little more courage. It ... sends out the message, contrary to everything we have been saying and George Bush has been saying, that the terrorists have in fact won to a certain extent because we are not going to London because of them."

The lack of courage noted by a member of Britian's conservative right might reasonably be termed cowardly. Your overlooking of the noun "lion" that followed the adjective "cowardly," suggests you are not up on your Wizard of Oz....

Just as he spoke there came from the forest a terrible roar, and the next moment a great Lion bounded into the road. With one blow of his paw he sent the Scarecrow spinning over and over to the edge of the road, and then he struck at the Tin Woodman with his sharp claws. But, to the Lion's surprise, he could make no impression on the tin, although the Woodman fell over in the road and lay still.

Little Toto, now that he had an enemy to face, ran barking toward the Lion, and the great beast had opened his mouth to bite the dog, when Dorothy, fearing Toto would be killed, and heedless of danger, rushed forward and slapped the Lion upon his nose as hard as she could, while she cried out:

"Don't you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a big beast like you, to bite a poor little dog!"

"I didn't bite him," said the Lion, as he rubbed his nose with his paw where Dorothy had hit it.

"No, but you tried to," she retorted. "You are nothing but a big coward."

"I know it," said the Lion, hanging his head in shame. "I've always known it. But how can I help it?"

posted by three blind mice at 9:47 AM on July 12, 2005


I'm not calling New Yorkers cowards.

I'm calling the Bush Administration cowards.

New Yorkers don't get to set policy. If they did, Osama Bin Laden would be in jail, and 1700 American Soldiers would probably be still alive, along with countless innocent Iraqis.

9/11 happened, and Bush *ran.* He got into his plane, and got as far away from NYC as he possibly could. And he's been running ever since from actually facing the bastard who did attack this country.

George W. Bush is a coward. I would gladly say this to his face, but I won't swear the "patriotic" oath, nor promise to be a supporter, to face him. He can face me, straight up, person to person, but he won't. He's a coward. He doubled the exclusion zone around Air Force One, because he's a coward. He won't face anyone that isn't vetted as being a follower of the Administration, because he's a coward. HE WON'T EVEN FUCKING READ THE NEWSPAPERS, because he's a coward.

And half this countries supports him. Millions of Londers got on the tube Today. He orders the US military to avoid London.

Those people are cowards. Pataki wants the lower 200' of the French Tower, I mean, Freedom Tower, to have no windows. Why? Because he's a coward. GOPer talk war, but won't join the army. Why? They are cowards.

New Yorkers? By and large, do you know what they did after 9/11? They got on with thier lives. They still take the trains. They still work in the big buildings. They still live -- knowing that Joe Overseas Terrorist really thinks the only cities in the US are NYC, Washington, and LA. They're not cowards.

So fuck you, dhoyt, for claiming that I'd call New Yorkers cowards. I do, however, call all those assholes in the red states who are busy trading my rights away so they can get on with their hatred and prejudice safely cowards.
posted by eriko at 9:52 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt
Your commentary on 9-11 is lousy. What about all the Israelis that have lost lives because of terrorist attacks? The Palestinians? The Iraqis both before this war started but during the sanctions? Everyone else all over the world that has lost substantial numbers of their populations in warfare or natural disasters?
Put things in perspective. I think if you do, 9-11 was a drop in a very big bucket.
People around the world aren't cutting americans anymore slack because of 9-11 for very good reason: 'muricans have run that topic into the ground and wrung about as many tears out of it as they're likely to get.
posted by mk1gti at 9:52 AM on July 12, 2005


dhoyt, those statements are as intemperate as yours, the one you had the grace and good sense to apologize for.

However, you can't possibly argue that the bloody flag of 9/11 hasn't been waved about (many times, with much zeal) to justify all sorts of dodgy and ill-advised actions. It has. You know it has.

On preview: Ciderwoman points out the importance of context.
posted by vetiver at 9:53 AM on July 12, 2005


A few things. As I mentioned, I lived in London between 1980 and 2002. That included quite a bit of the IRA bombing years. I have lived in New York since 2002.

Firstly: New Yorkers generally responded wonderfully to 9/11. The sense of community was strong but - and this is what impressed me the most - there was a distinct lack of the thoughtless, moronic cries for vengeance via misdirected lashing out which we saw from the Bush administration and, sadly, many parts of America less directly affected by the outrage. It is worth noting yet again just how strongly New York voted for Kerry and against Bush in the last election, whereas the blowhard assholes in shitkicker central - in their towns and counties that have as much chance of being targetted by Al Qaeda as Greenland - went red, red, red.

Secondly: Londoners are generally responding wonderfully to 7/7. There are superficial cultural differences in the two cities' responses, perhaps, but the bottom line is both dealt with the assaults against them admirably, so for Christ's sake can we lay off that shit?

On American "cowardice" post 9/11. Hey, I know you guys love to think of yourself as all-round hard cases and conquering heroes and I also know that lots and lots of you are by no means cowards - quite the contrary. But you do need to make an effort to understand where this perception comes from. Here's where it comes from.

- the mind-boggingly absurd "security" overkill that took place, and is still taking place post 9/11. Cops, soldiers and reservists all over the place for no readily discernible reason. Bridges reduced to one lane for months and months. A colleague of mine arrested on his train journey to work - for taking snaps out of the window to show his folks back home. He was Indian and non-religious but hey, he could have been Muslim, right? And so on.

- The Patriot Act. 'nuff said. I hope.

- The obviously (over)compensatory shitstorm of thoughtless nationalism, flag worship and general "God Bless America" security-blanket foolishness.

- Above all, the inappropriate military response. That looks very much like the classic misdirected, hurt-pride lashing out of the kicked bully. And most people recognise that bullying is often borne of cowardice. Especially the type that picks on easy targets irrespective of whether they've actually done anything to deserve it.

- The truly disturbing willingness of so many Americans to cling to belief in the obvious lies of a devious, mendacious and outright criminal administration. Staggering statistics like the number of people who believed for so long that there was a link between Saddam and 9/11. The absurd length of time for which people clung to the belief that WMDs would be found. And so on.

- The fact that this evil scumbag Bush was returned to power with an increased vote, after all this. The deeply stupid remarks which were used to justify this: "You don't change horses midstream". What? Excuse me? You damned well do if your horse is mad and is dragging you under with him.

It really doesn't look good, guys. Seriously. That's why you get this shit thrown at you.

I heart New York and London. ParisParamus is a big silly.
posted by Decani at 9:55 AM on July 12, 2005


Londoners are well aware their 2000 year old city has survived the Romans, the Vikings, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, Civil War, Hitler, the IRA, and John Major.

You started it!
posted by ladd at 10:06 AM on July 12, 2005


As dhoyt mentioned, NYC is fearless, yet fair, these days. It has not let the terrorists change it one bit; there is certainly no unsightly discrimination.

None whatsoever.
posted by solipse at 10:13 AM on July 12, 2005


Hey, I thought we were supposed to be ... allies. :-(
posted by WaterSprite at 10:20 AM on July 12, 2005


No question about that ladd.

What is fascinating is that the Dutch sailed up the Thames and attacked some ships in the London docks! IIRC from Samuel Pepys diary, he commented that the Dutch boarded some English ships, captured them, and sailed them out under Dutch flags. They savaged the English fleet defending the Thames estuary. The English king wasn't paying his sailors - bad for morale - and the city of London recovering from the Great fire of 1666 (another horrific event) didn't have the coin to make up for it.

Compared to these events, a few Muslim terrorists - as awful as their attacks were - hardly deserve a footnote in the history of this city. They certainly do not deserve our fear.
posted by three blind mice at 10:20 AM on July 12, 2005


For the sake of the Anglo-American relationship I am pleased that if this had to happen at all it happened on the 7th of the 7th. One day later and i would seem the "We were all Londoners on 8/7" threads would have had many Brits heading your way with their own explosives.
posted by vbfg at 10:22 AM on July 12, 2005



It was Michael Moore in "bowling for columbine" who introduced me to the stereotype of the scared American. I don't believe it, (it being a stereotype) but I'd just like y'all to know it had nothing to do with 9/11.
posted by seanyboy at 10:26 AM on July 12, 2005


dhyot, maybe it'd help if you also kept in mind those comments you are trying to depict as so unbearably offensive were made as a reaction to that kind of 'Londonistan' commentary from the US media as contained in those links in bwerdmuller's post at the top. How can you not get it, that it may be a little bit annoying especially for people in London now to see the usual wankery about the UK and/or all of Europe falling prey to Islamists used as a mere rhetorical prop for internal political debate in the US? What are the people using that kind of rhetorics suggesting in terms of practical useful advice about terrorism, really? Nada. They just want to recycle some sensationalist catchprases and thinly-veiled bigotry and point at yooorope and say, look, they're weak and frail and we're mighty and cool because at least we have Guantanamo, keep voting for the people who brought you that and more. Or something like that. Nothing but muscle-flexing jingoism and political appropriation. If that's appropriate commentary after a terrorist attack, I don't know.

I swear this is the last time I ever even begin to read a thread about this stuff. Honest.
posted by funambulist at 10:27 AM on July 12, 2005


Decani
Very well said indeed. . .
It seems like the U.S. is increasingly being viewed as a nation of 'chicken littles' because of all the foolish screaming about 'the sky is falling' all the time.
I agree a few security measures may have been necessitated, but what has gone on is obscene in it's raw grab for federal money and sheer greed with few to little real results in real security and a decimation of 'life as we knew it' for the sake of 'false security'. One may as well have put Gomer Pyle in charge of Fort Knox . . .
What absolute paranoid nonsense. . .
posted by mk1gti at 10:39 AM on July 12, 2005


They are anouncing that at least three of the bombers were suicide bombs, the bus bomber's body was not completely destroyed and he had papers on him that have led to the raids in Leeds. The bombers were possibly local boys and knew each other. The bomb maker was another person.

I knew the M1 was a bad idea.

/non-joke
posted by asok at 10:48 AM on July 12, 2005


Great post decani, interesting reading. Bad joke, Asok, but morbidly funny.
posted by chaz at 11:01 AM on July 12, 2005


It was Michael Moore in "bowling for columbine" who introduced me to the stereotype of the scared American.

Well, there was this guy: Richard Hofstadter.

He first fully articulating the type--as well as its political consequences.
___________
posted by mondo dentro at 11:44 AM on July 12, 2005


It was Michael Moore in "bowling for columbine" who introduced me to the stereotype of the scared American. I don't believe it, (it being a stereotype) but I'd just like y'all to know it had nothing to do with 9/11.

Seanyboy--Not to be persnickety on this point (just about everyone gets this wrong in exactly the way you did), but a “stereotype” isn’t necessarily wrong just by virtue of its being a “stereotype”—in fact, the idea of “stereotyping” is usefully applied in many areas (like medicine and software engineering, for example).

The problem is just that, where human beings are concerned, inaccurate and misleading stereotypes based on physical appearance have tended to crop up historically, and overall, stereotyping just isn’t a very effective strategy for sorting out types of human beings (and where human beings are concerned, stereotypes can be especially misleading or harmful, and once a harmful or inaccurate stereotype gets fixed in popular imagination, it can be really hard to root out and can contribute to the cultural objectification of otherwise flesh-and-blood people).

In other words, stereotypes are true sometimes. Like for example, the stereotype that Germans eat lots of sausage. I’ve lived in and frequently visited Germany and guess what? It’s true! German’s love sausage, as a general rule. That doesn’t, however, mean that if I’m expecting a German guest to stay at my house I should clear out space in the freezer for a few dozen extra pounds of sausage, on the assumption that that’s all she’ll eat; that would just be presumptuous, because what if my guest is vegetarian? So again, stereotypes can be true sometimes, they just usually aren’t, especially where people are concerned—and that’s why we have to be vigilant and challenge the stereotypes we encounter in our day to day lives.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:59 PM on July 12, 2005


the US lost sixty times more people in the 9/11 attacks

ah, the ever-present American obsession with supersizing -- thanks for teaching the Limeys that they clearly have no right to speak until they start having big-ass XXXL Big Gulp terrorist attacks, dhoyt. that was clearly needed. and in excellent taste.

as somebody who spends 95 % of his time in cities that are considered major targets for terrorists (and in airports, and on planes) I never cease to be amused by the US jingo obsession with lecturing us, ie the people who actually risk to be hit by terrorism, from the safety of their mom's basement in, say, Bumfuck*, Virginia

* not that there's anything wrong with beautiful Bumfuck, Virignia -- I am sure it must be a lovely place. and i do like Virginia a lot.


Can I come live in that open, tolerant city of yours?

please no, we're perfectly fine here, thank you very much. we'll call you when we need extra Islamophobes to join those who are here already. no need to import extra thugs, yet
posted by matteo at 1:06 PM on July 12, 2005


What eriko said (except that I feel no particular need to tell anyone "fuck you") about who the cowards over here in the U.S. are...

the US (my home country) has a cowardly streak at the collective level--one that allowed us to be stampeded into the PATRIOT act and the Operation Iraqi Liberation

Not fear, but plain common gullibility and ignorance produced these results.
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:09 PM on July 12, 2005


ps: if we do have a London meetup after all, expect a shoutout
posted by matteo at 1:11 PM on July 12, 2005


Just as a point of information, the main lbgt muslim group is called al-Fatiha and can be found here: http://www.al-fatiha.org/.

The traditional madhabite sunni muslims living in the west don't really care about lbgt rights one way or another.

Re: articles. Bull.

Although Omar Bakri should be muzzled and his state benefit cut off. Foolish person.
posted by Mossy at 2:41 PM on July 12, 2005


Watresprite: I do think of Americans and Brits as allies. But the only sense in which I value that alliance is the cultural and intellectual one. I really value that a hell of a lot. I value our musical, literary and artistic cross-fertilisations. I value the way we share roots yet grow apart and together again in endless fascinating ways. I value our shared intellectual traditions. I value our shared yet subtly different senses of humour. I particularly value my lovely American partner. :-)

I would like to value a truly decent political alliance between our nations before I die. But the last time that happened was before I was born and current indications do not encourage optimism that I'll see another one before I am , to quote Uncle Monty, swept away by some vulgar little tumour.
posted by Decani at 6:14 PM on July 12, 2005


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